There were reports that the NHLPA would “not overwhelmingly” vote for the 24-team playoff and the Pittsburgh Penguins would vote a “hard no” against the plan due to fears of facing Carey Price. In the end, those reports ended up being inaccurate.
29 players representing the league’s 31 teams voted yes for the 24-team playoff. The only two teams that didn’t were the Carolina Hurricanes and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both are Eastern Conference playoff teams.
The two @NHL teams that voted against @NHLPA 24 team format were playoff teams. @Canes and @TBLightning https://t.co/bizAbf6mMR
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) May 23, 2020
Under the NHL’s 24-team playoff plan, the Lightning would be the number two seed in the Eastern Conference while the Carolina Hurricanes would be sixth.
According to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, the Hurricanes could have had issues with the playoff because they’d end up playing the tenth-seeded New York Rangers, who are one of the most lethal offensive teams in the NHL.
Can't speak to Tampa, but one can see Carolina's issue with having amassed 81 points in 68 games and your reward is playing a non-playoff team (with Artemi Panarin and the 5th best offensive) in a 5-game "play-in." https://t.co/9nac8KnjS7
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) May 23, 2020
Meanwhile, the Lightning’s Alex Killorn recently stated that he had concerns about how prepared bye teams would be against teams who had play-ins.
There was an interview with Killorn, Bolts player rep, where he expressed concerns about the teams getting a “bye” not being as ready when they are facing teams who now already played a round.
— Larissa (@thegrlonthewall) May 23, 2020
Checking in with @akillorn19!
(Now with 100 percent less glitch 🙂) pic.twitter.com/1UwtQ9u4yt
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) May 23, 2020
Regardless, the format checked enough boxes for enough players that 94 percent voted yes.
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